Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kings Gameday: Enough's Enough

LA Kings (6-6-2, 4th in Pacific) @ Dallas Stars (5-7-3, Dead Last in Pacific)

5:30 PST, Fox Sports West

Raitis Ivanans can not skate a regular shift in the NHL. I'm sorry, he just can't. It breaks my heart, because I love the lumbering Latvian, but he plays like dog piss tastes. (No, not delicious, terrible and slightly acidic.) Since the Kings began skating Raitis on their "third" line, that line has not recorded a point. Not a one. Ivanans is like the anti-Thornton, he sucks all the talent out of his linemates.

"I just want to see the inside of your skull."

Basically, the Kings are rolling two good 4th lines instead of one good 3rd. There's Ivanans-Handzus-Simmonds and O'Sullivan-Boyle-Harrold, one of whom is okay defensively but can't score while the other can do both but is just kind of... weird. Meanwhile, the Kopitar line and the Frolov line are left fending for themselves on both offense and defense. Terry Murray claims the Kings are rolling 4 lines but they're really just giving more emphasis to the top 2 lines while de-emphasizing the minutes the bottom 2 lines play. That's actually a good thing, but it probably means they need to either move O'Sullivan up and get our best players playing the most minutes or play someone besides Ivanans to give 4 actual lines. If they are going to play Ivanans, then they can't skate Ivanans 9 minutes a game. He needs to be playing 5 or 6, tops.

Ivanans-Hey Jon, look what I did. Yea!
Zeiler-My god, the blood.

I imagine we'll find out later today that Derek Armstrong is going to take Ivanans' spot in the line-up because he played well last game and Ivanans was awful, but who the hell knows. I do know, however, that the biggest guy on the Stars is Phillippe Boucher and Ivanans outweighs him by 40 lbs. No one is going to fight Ivanans tonight and that makes him pretty much worthless.

"The rabbits we're gonna get and I, I get to tend 'em."

You know, the only reason I think he's still playing is because everyone is afraid to tell him he can't play. I imagine it'll go like this:

Terry Murray: Hey Hardy, can you go grab Ivanans for me?
Mark Hardy: Sure thing, boss! *scampers away

(Suddenly there is a loud crash and Ivanans emerges through a hole in the wall)

Raitis Ivanans: Ivanans smash!
TM: Uh, hey Raitis, why don't you have a seat.
TM: Umm, okay. Look Raitis, you're doing a wonderful job out there-
RI: Ivanans smash!
TM: Uh, yeah, Ivanans do great job smash. But we think it may be time for you to sit a game.
RI: Ivanans... no smash?
TM: No, not today.
RI: Well, that's your prerogative, Coach. I'm sorry you find my game to be deficient right now and I'll redouble my efforts in practice to regain my spot. No worries, Coach, and I thank you for your time.
TM: Okay, great. Now can you go grab Sully for me? I'm going to have him play defense tonight.
RI: Alright. IVANANS SMASH! *Bursts new hole in wall


Does Mike Modano get enough respect? I get the feeling he's overlooked because he's not quite as skilled as Joe Sakic and he's not quite as dreamy as Steve Yzerman, but he's been pretty good for a really long time. It's kind of impressive that he's evolved from a top line scorer to a solid defensive forward. Plus, he's banging Willa Ford. Well done, sir.

Prediction: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the Stars engage in jackassery.


Chris Kontos said...

Remember how great Handzus looked during the first 10 games? Yeah, that's pretty much gone with Raitis skating on his wing. At least Handzus gets time on the power play.

Unknown said...

I think that line would look good with Clune in Trogdor's spot

Earl Sleek said...

I'm sorry you find my game to be deficient right now and I'll redouble my efforts in practice to regain my spot.

God, I really hope this is how Ivanans talks. Professor Punch, I'd call him.

cristobal said...

Lighten up on Ivan. I like his presence and he's not as poor a player as you may believe. Next to Parros and Boogaard he looks like Gretzky.
What's the punishment for "Instigating?" Is it only 2 minutes?
If so, I say he should start to take some "instigators."

Earl Sleek said...

Next to Parros and Boogaard he looks like Gretzky.

You're obviously thinking of the George Parros of two years ago. I haven't written about it, but the numbers for Parros and May this year have been astounding.

Parros 13 gp, 2-1-3, +5
May 8 gp, 0-4-4, +5

Yeah, both have missed some time with injury, but here we are near the quarter-pole of the season, and here's the stunning statistic:

Neither George Parros nor Brad May have been on the ice for a single goal-against. +5, -0.

Sure, they play easy minutes against other teams' fourth lines (usually), but I suspect both guys took something like "brain steroids" this summer. It's unreal. They've never been effective outscorers or puck-stoppers in the past.

cristobal said...

Earl: Wow, I stand corrected. May can play, no doubt, but Parros? No. It's a testament to Carlisle's ability to build his lines, in my opinion. In LA, Ivan has bounced around and the lines in general have been too inconsistent.
I think blaming Handzus "disappearance" on Ivan is unfair, too. He hasn't been seen since scoring that game winner in overtime against Carolina, other than watching the puck go in LA's net.
Maybe that's a bit harsh.
I'd keep Ivan in the lineup for a lot of games, still.

word verification: hambo.
the computer comes up with some gooduns.


Earl Sleek said...

Whoa, Success?

Somebody tell me how Sunday's broadcast goes (I'll be at the game).

RudyKelly said...

@ Cristobal:

The problem with Ivanans is that in his current role you can't compare him to Parros or Boogaard, you have to compare him to Travis Moen or Derek Armstrong, and he fails in that regard.

@ Earl:

Hell yeah. I guess they read my post. I better go tell my mom!

Anonymous said...


I gotta agree with you about The Lumbering Latvian. Your topic also begs the question, why the hell aren't we seeing Brad Richardson get any ice time? Given DL's recent success after drafting forwards in the 2nd round (i.e. Moeller, Simmons), why did DL waste a 2nd round pick this year by trading for someone who's going to sit up in the stands getting Nacho stains on his shirt every night as a scratch?

Mike in OC said...

Way to go Kings. Whats up with Dallas?

I am so glad they gave in on rinkside view a little. RK is right, we pretty much have no choice because we will watch, it's the only game in town.

But this guy Tom Feuer saying if you don't like it get bent is insult to injury. Sounds like he got his dick spanked a little.

Now I will watch Sunday with an open mind and give this work in progress a chance for sure. I mean it does have potential, in certain times it really does show how fast the game is.

Chris Kontos said...

Handzus gets a chance with some real wingers (on the Power Play) and 2 goals get scored.